If you're a modernist, you know "modern" is almost synonymous with "minimal." That can be a conundrum when you're designing a kitchen. Minimal or not, there's a pretty standard list of must-have kitchen features:
- Cabinets or shelves
- Cooking utensils
- Coffee and/or tea
Photo by Barker Wagoner Architects - Browse contemporary kitchen photos***
So, the modern kitchen design is one of the most clever kitchen designs. It requires the ability to make it look like there is nothing, where there is most certainly something!
Ideas For Minimizing Features in a Modern Kitchen Design
So, how do we go about creating a minimal kitchen space? The trick is to use streamlined versions of standard kitchen items, eliminating all the unnecessary ones.
When it comes to cabinets, we use innovative storage options, maximizing every square-inch of space. When that is accomplished, homeowners can reduce cabinet square footage by as much as 25% or 50%, while still being able to house everything they own.
Sleek and glossy is the name of the game in most modern homes. This typically includes high-gloss wood veneers and an absence of cabinet pulls or knobs. Push-operated cabinet openers/closers are available, as are cup-pull handles or linear handles which preserve minimalist integrity.
Thin Countertop Slabs
You'll be on the lookout for thin countertop slabs, which make Quartz or stainless steel a good choice. Wood countertops are also trending in modern kitchens for those desiring more warmth or texture.
Kitchen islands are extremely useful, but they become "one more thing" in a space, right? Therefore, modern kitchens have options to minimize the island's footprint. Ideas include:
- A portable island. Think Swede-esque designs set on lockable casters. It's there when you need it, gone when you don't.
- A Pedestal island. By supporting the island with a pedestal, rather than a cabinet base, you gain under-island airspace and a clear sight line through the kitchen, which reduces the island's visual impact.
- Half-island/half-table. If you have the space, your modern island can be half-island with cabinets with a slab-only extension for tabletop seating and socializing.
- Dark on Light. While white finishes and metallic furnishings are popular modern design choices, we've found that a darker kitchen island seems to "fade" more than a lighter one. Take this black-and-white-chocolate kitchen, for example. The kitchen is small, and yet managed to incorporate an island and maintain a modern aesthetic.
- Light on dark. Another popular option is to use a dark island base and a white or very light countertop surface. The base fades away and the island countertop has a "floating" appearance.
If your kitchen includes a dine-in area, or if you have an open floor plan, you'll be on the lookout for low-profile furniture. Ideas range from acrylic tables and chairs, where transparency offers a "barely there" finish, tables with minimalist pedestal designs, low-backed stools, slab benches, mid-century shell chairs in bright colors (or light, or metallic) - all are options that provide necessary kitchen features without taking up too much space.
Baskets and Boxes
HomeGoods, Cost Plus World Market, Stacks and Stacks — each of these stores offers decorative or industrial-functional boxes, racks and storage options that allow you to store things without requiring an entire cabinet box or shelving system. They look like sparse, decorative accents, but can hide your lesser-used kitchen tools and servingware.
Are you ready to minimize your kitchen space? Come hang out with us here at Kitchen Magic or let us come to you. We offer free, in-home consultations and are happy to provide experienced design tips and recommendations for your modern kitchen design.